How I Learned to Be More Flexible

When my son Clayton was 14, he took violin lessons. My husband, Phil, would take him, wait for the thirty minutes, and then the guys would drive through McDonald’s and arrive home with french fries in hand.

But, one Thursday, they were a whole hour late! I checked the time and started to get concerned. Then, I heard the garage door.

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I was at the other end of the house in my youngest son’s room, so I could barely hear them as they came in – muffled voices and trailing footsteps were all I could detect. I expected them to come down the hall toward Connor’s room, but they didn’t.

Instead, I heard their bulky procession lumbering down our stairs into the basement.

“What are they doing?” I wondered. “It’s not like them to not say hello.”

Finally, my curiosity catapulted me downstairs and I blurted out as I entered the basement, “What are you guys up to?”

“Uh, um, Honey, I bought a recliner.” Phil announced. “You did?!?”

I was shocked!

How I learned to be more flexible.
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Phil and I had been shopping for a recliner for several years at that point. You know, I wanted the perfect fabric, he wanted the perfect feel. So, we hadn’t quite settled on one we both liked.

I remember thinking, “He knows what we’ve been looking for, he must have found it – the perfect recliner to match the old world décor in the basement! Yes!”

It was just in time for the holidays, so even though I was surprised he bought it without me, I was relieved to finally have it.

So, my next question naturally was, “What does it look like?” (By the way, if you are a new reader, I asked because I am blind!)

Flexibility isn’t always fun because it usually involves compromise.
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Phil hesitated and said, “Uh,well, it’s black.” At that point my relief turned to irritation, “Black isn’t a color we agreed on. It isn’t a color that goes with our other furniture.” I said with as much control as possible. “I know,” he said, “But it’s so comfortable! It heats up and massages you!”

Anything that heats up and massages would feel good, but was not going to look good.

I made my way over to the new chair. I shrieked as I ran my hand over the space age, sleek combination of chrome and leather that someone actually had the nerve to call a recliner! It was more like the pilot’s chair in the space shuttle!

“It’s zero gravity,” Phil assured me as if that would make it all better.

“I will go to the dentist if I want to sit in a recliner like this one,” I shot back.

Fix your eyes on what matters, focus on what counts, and be flexible.
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Let’s just say my basement looked like the Sharper Image meets old world! I didn’t like it at all, I thought it was tacky at best and hideous at worst, but Phil loved it. And so, I went upstairs (where the furnishings were planned and inviting) and began to pout… uh, I mean, ponder.

I remember asking myself, “What’s more important, my desire for the house to look a certain way or Phil’s happiness over the ugly chair?”

Flexible is not usually part of my personality, stubbornness is, but I began to bend.

I figured that in the whole scheme of things, did one mismatched, unattractive chair really matter to me? Not nearly as much as my goofy husband mattered to me!

I bent. I compromised.

Look beyond your frustration and fix your eyes on what really matters.
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And, I ended up with an anti-gravity, vibrating chair that Mr. Spock would feel right at home in if he ever decided to beam in to hear Clayton practice violin!

But… I didn’t end up with that ugly chair for very long!

After a few days, Phil decided it wasn’t as comfortable as he expected. So, the chair went back to the Starship Enterprise and we went back to shopping for the perfect recliner!

Now, here I am ten years and two recliners later, and I’m still trying to bend. I’m still trying to fix my eyes on what matters, focus on what counts, and be flexible!

Flexibility isn’t always fun because it usually involves compromise. But, those who bend rarely break!

People are more important than things. People last forever, this situation doesn’t.
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When we are rigid, the smallest pressures make us snap. Of course, we need balance. If we’re not a little stubborn, we will bend too easily and way too often. But, if we’re not flexible, we will break too quickly.

I use the following statements as filters to determine when to be flexible:

  • People are more important than things.
  • People will remember how I make them feel not how perfect my house is.
  • People last forever, this situation doesn’t.

So, girls, choose to make the unexpected part of your normal routine and you will grow in your ability to adapt.

Whatever seems to be distracting, annoying, or just plain ugly in your life, try to see right through it and fix your eyes on what really matters — people!

Please share in the comments below how you have learned to become flexible. I know we would all like to hear what’s worked for you!

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